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SSEN publishes Electric Vehicle Strategy to ensure it is ‘EV Ready’

Image: SSEN.

Image: SSEN.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) has unveiled its Electric Vehicle Strategy.

The document sets out the principles it will apply to support decarbonisation of transport, with the DNO committing to invest in its network infrastructure to support 10 million EVs on Great Britain’s roads by 2030.

The five key principles for facilitating EV uptake and ensuring it is ‘EV Ready’ outlined in the strategy are:

  • Using data and analytics to anticipate issues, support decision making and make sure SSEN’s networks are ready for EV uptake.
  • Making a suite of tools available to support widespread EV uptake.
  • Using Local Development Plans to inform and establish strategic investment programmes.
  • Using innovation, digitalisation, new skill sets and operational capabilities to meet the forecast growth.
  • Supporting stakeholder and customer ambitions to decarbonise.

Actions to accomplish its first principle include building a full connectivity model, collation, automation and visualisation, detailed forecasting and the rollout of substation monitoring.

It also highlighted the role of data sharing, citing not being notified of EV chargepoint installations as a challenge, as well as determining current and future constraints, giving decisions in real-time and power flow analysis.

For its second principle, SSEN said it will utilise tools from its innovation projects such as Project LEO and Optimise Prime, as well as using markets to carry out smart charging and to understand how increasing EV uptake and tourist patterns will impact seasonal peak demand.

It also lauded the work done on its suite of flexible solutions, such as Active Network Management to alleviate constraints and help with connections.

Investing strategically, in addition to strategic partnerships and combining asset health with EV forecasts form the basis of its third principle.

It is looking to create a local network function in its control rooms as part of its fourth principle, improving its IT/OT systems and use. SSEN will also establish appropriate resources to deal with the impacts of increased EV uptake on queries, quotations and site visits, as well as electrifying its own fleet of vehicles.

The DNO has already committed to this transition through the EV100 scheme, however it will look to mitigate risks of dealing with outages through having hybrid/hydrogen contingencies, for example.

It will also be necessary, it said, to prioritise the needs of customers who become vulnerable when their ability to charge their EV is hampered in storm or outage scenarios.

Lastly, SSEN will look to provide heat maps that specifically highlight the location and available capacity of any network to give visibility to charging, as part of its fifth principle. It also pointed to its RESOP project, providing Local Authorities with a whole system modelling service.

“The next decade will see widespread and permanent change in how we all travel and, as a network operator, SSEN has a huge role to play in making sure that change is a success," SSEN’s distribution system operator director, Andrew Roper, said.

"Our EV Strategy sets out our ambition to support our customers, stakeholders and our colleagues through this transition and the actions that will lay the foundations for a net zero transport future," Roper continued.

SSEN is calling on its customers and stakeholders to provide feedback to ensure their priorities and requirements are at the heart of the transition, with Roper adding that SSEN recognises it is “publishing this strategy in a period of upheaval, as the coronavirus pandemic places unprecedented restrictions on how we interact and communicate”.

“We will therefore be offering increased digital communications and social media options for our customers and stakeholders to engage with us on this important topic.”

SSEN also recently released a progress report on its transition to distribution system operator (DSO), as well as its publishing its Digital Strategy.

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